Every summer, as part of her homework, my daughter is required to make a bank. She’s supposed to come up with an original design, and the result is entered in an Idea Bank Contest. Of course, as the head teacher reminded us parents, the kids need help.
At the beginning of summer, I was thinking along the lines of a papier mache rabbit, or a head with yarn for hair. Or some kind of house constructed from all of the popsicle sticks we’ve accumulated over the past couple of months. But now, with only a few days left to go, I’m casting about for something quick and easy that we haven’t done before.We stopped by the bookstore yesterday so that I could look for a craft book. At the beginning of summer, there are oodles of such books on display – books intended to give parents and kids inspiration for how to while the August days away. Those books are gone. In Japan, everything has its season.
I wonder why my daughter has to make the same thing, year after year? What are we supposed to do with all of those banks? Is some sort of lesson in money management embedded in the task?
My son’s school doesn’t have the same requirement. The kids made banks in year one (many of them used ready-made kits). This summer, my son is supposed to paint a picture on the theme of “freedom.” I was thinking doves, people of many colors holding hands, etc., but he needs to come up with the idea on his own. I tried to help him out a bit. “What do you think of when you hear the word ‘freedom’?” I asked. My son said, “Getting out of jail.”